Berani – “Cut And Taste” strikes an incredible balance of disparate elements

Berani is an electronic beat maker with a diverse sound spectrum and a tendency to produce bouncing rhythms or spacious and relaxing aural experiences. In a short time span, this emerging artist out of Byron Bay in Australia, has discerning music fans and casual listeners paying attention. The sound design throughout his latest single “Cut And Taste” is what we’ve come to expect from this creative top tier producer: popping percussion, basslines that melt like butter and a healthy dose of twisted horns to make everything bump in a soul-like fashion. Sprinkled around the track are sonic effects that keep

EsZ – “Liquor & Emotions” – introspective and emotional

Hip-hop has been cranking out bangers and high energy anthems for decades, but the average genre historian is well aware that dark or emotional thoughts on a chill backdrop is not a foreign concept for the game. After all, profound moodiness feels rather natural for a culture that grew out of urban plight and the trauma of purposely disenfranchised people. It makes sense that at least some mellow tunes in the genre, reflect deep-thinking speculation, in what artist EsZ, describes as thoughts on “life, growth and fake friends” in his track “Liquor & Emotions”. The song is a drunk text

Quad – “Love” embellishes each track with his personal revelations

Based in the south of Chicago, Quad started making music when he was around 14 years old and started taking it artistically seriously two years later. He produces, records, mixes and masters, using only a Blue Yeti microphone and FL Studios. So far Quad has written over 300 songs and released 1 EP, 1 Album and 8 singles. Currently training as an audio engineer at SAE University in Chicago, Quad explained that his latest album “Love” describes his personal understanding of the sentiment. The album “Love” was written and recorded over the course of 2 months after Quad was electrocuted

Acemattz & Bipha shine on “Tshanana”

Watching Acemattz & Bipha perform in any of their videos is like watching friends realize they’re onto something big time. They are accomplished rappers individually, on their own terms, and as collaborators, as a unit, their styles gel perfectly. They’re not just comfortable performing together—they are feeding off of each other, refusing to be one-upped, beaming and grinning and head-bobbing as they take turns impressing one another. By the end of each of their performances, their formation into a real show-stopping combination seems inevitable. In the new wave rap scene, there is plenty of talent to go around, Acemattz &

FuzzKill – “The Get Better” reaches all the expected heights!

FuzzKill is a four-piece rock band that started in Boston, MA. Introduced to one another through musical theatre, the band’s sound is firmly rooted in early 2000’s pop-punk influences. They released their debut studio album, “Happen”, in early 2019, and their sophomore album, “The Get Better”, just dropped on September 19th 2020. We have all heard the biggest punk bands of the 90’s and early 00’s. Their music mainly consisted of driving drums, distorted pop-punk guitar work and a set of memorable lyrics to go with the angst-filled high energy vocals. Today punk bands are a rarity, and any good

Dan Friese – ‘Jane Songs’ is something to be treasured!

Dan Friese is an Oregon-based songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist. In April of 2020, he released his debut EP, ‘Happiness’, a collection of self-reflective psychedelic indie-folk tracks. His first full-length effort, ‘Jane Songs’, was released on September 18th, and is available on all major platforms, along with the singles “Streetlight” and “I Can’t Say”. There’s a lot to appreciate on the new album, and Dan’s voice is arguably the most attractive aspect. Moreover, his vocals are often enhanced by inspiring songwriting and raw emotion, not to mention a wealth of down to earth acoustic guitar strumming. Dan Friese has an organic,

INTERVIEW: C.E.N. – the voice of the people

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and currently a resident of Dallas, Texas, C.E.N’s natural proficiency over poetry allowed him to produce meaningful and profound lyrics. Although he initially took the initiative to become a music artist for fame and fortune, he later realized that all he desires as a musician is to be respected and valued for the art he brings to the table. His music is deep lyrically and spiritually. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started? C.E.N.: I was born in Oklahoma City, OK, and was raised in a

Hitrocker – “Project One” – breathtaking sound design!

Hitrocker is a German based producer who creates mainly within the EDM subgenres of House, Electro and Deep House. His first album, entitled “Project One” was released at the end of July, while “Project Two” is also out now. When I clicked on the playlist of “Project One”, I was met with song titles that were merely numbers – such as “Project 1.1” or “Project One.Four”. This falsely led me to expect generically themed instrumentals, simply meant to rock the dancefloor. Wrong. Well not totally. They do rock the dancefloor. But they also do a whole lot more. These are

Rashod Holmes Announces New Single ‘The One’

The soul singer relives how he met his wife and started his family on a tender new song. Rashod Holmes is known for bringing romance to life with his evocative voice, but he has never told as personal a story as the one he tells with his latest single. ‘The One’ is a true life love story that acknowledges the struggles and triumphs that go into building a long-lasting relationship. “I found the one for me” Rashod sings. “She is the girl of my dreams.” While Rashod is convinced that he has found the perfect partner, there is much more

Billy Ray Rock – “Get The Funk”- hitting up all the classic tenets of funk

Washington State Singer-Bassist, Billy Ray Rock, plays more than 10 instruments and produces and performs every instrument you hear in his music. From Rock to R&B and Dance, Billy delivers them all. His single “Get The Funk”, simply adds another delicious flavor to his sonic menu. His unearthly bass chops, resonant vocal wobble and inner funk DNA is scorching hot, while it straddles the genre’s trademark grooves. Blaring horns and slapping drums accompanies the party-styled adlibs, as the track treads its momentum. If you’re looking the glossy high-tech dance-club funk perpetuated by bands like Chromeo, then this is not the

SWEET CRYSTAL: “Quad” – an overwhelmingly great sounding band

The Christian Rock group, SWEET CRYSTAL, has remained in existence for an impressive 40 years and its core trio of Marq Andrew Speck (lead vocals, keyboards), Bill Blatter (guitar, vocals) and Steve Wieser (drums) has remained together and intact for the entirety of that time too.

SWEET CRYSTAL is also a staggering thirteen-time Detroit Music Award winner. Their latest release “Quad” sees the band collaborating with award-winning mixer/engineer, Chuck Alkazian (Christina Aguilera, R Kelly, Mitch Ryder, Pop Evil) and Pearl Sound Studios, Canton, MI. “Quad” also features performances by special guest vocalists Amy Susan Heard and David Perez.

sweet-crystal-350“We’ve really upped our sonic onslaught with QUAD,” says founding member Marq Andrew Speck. “There are songs here about desperation and redemption, asking questions of faith and finding real answers for our lives as well as some mighty sweet instrumentals.”

To put it simply, “Quad” has everything that any fan of SWEET CRYSTAL would expect, brings them to a more mature level and also takes their music a step further. So if you liked their defining previous work, you sure are going to love this no matter what. And even if you are less than a fan of their previous work, or do not know it at all, I am pretty confident that you will at least respect and appreciate the work and effort put into this Christian progressive-rock album.

From start to the end every song feels different and carries its own personality. You may not necessarily perceive this with one spin of all the tracks, but most people will get this at the second or at the most, third listening. The main reason for this is the fact that no song feels formulaic.

Right from the very start of “Fanfare”, you can tell that SWEET CRYSTAL really want to make this album epic. But, it’s really when we get to the next track “Foot of the Cross” where we start to hear the band’s driving creativity, by combining hard hitting rhythms and rock symphonics.

sweet-crystal-350bIndividually they are great musicians, collectively an overwhelmingly great sounding band. There is no way around it; these guys produce music that is absolutely addictive. As skilled craftsman, they are virtually in a league of their own. And nowhere is this more evident than on “Some People May Ask” which elevates the album to a spectacular level of proficiency and beauty.

This song has the dramatic and dynamic elements of a perfect rock opera. In places it reminded me of something from ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, and at others like an extract off the legendary ‘Tommy’ album by The Who. Either way, for me, it’s the absolute highlight of a stellar album, followed closely by the album closer, “Him Alone”.

There is so much to love about “Quad”. First of all you have three masters yet nothing is overplayed and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The songs are rock-solid, mostly upbeat with hooks galore. The vocals are rich and everything is layered and textured nicely. This album reminds me of the great rock bands of the 70’s and 80’s; beautiful chord progressions and tempo changes, big harmonies and creative arrangements – a wonderful balance of instrumentation and song styles.

One of the things I love about SWEET CRYSTAL is the breadth and depth of the sonic landscape they craft. Listening to this album, took me to another place. So much so, I had totally forgotten that this was a Christian Rock album until it ended. That’s what separates SWEET CRYSTAL from lesser talents!

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